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Carmel, CA (Concerto Grosso)
July 22, 2017
Saturdays, July 15 & 22, 7:30 PM
Sunset Center Theater
Orchestra, Chorale and Soloists
J.S. Bach, Cantata, BMV 11 Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen (Praise God in His Kingdoms), Ascension Oratorio
Mhairi Lawson, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Tom Cooley, tenor; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone
Philip Glass, Concerto Grosso
Henry Purcell, Birthday ode for Queen Mary, Come ye sons of art
George Frideric Handel, “Worthy is the Lamb, Amen” from Messiah
Bach’s Ascension Oratorio dates to 1735 and resembles his iconic Christmas Oratorio, which he completed shortly before. The oratorio is composed in 11 movements in two parts. It is framed by extended, celebratory choral movements, which set the perfect joyful tone to kick off the 80th Carmel Bach Festival.
Philip Glass shares the same birth year as the Bach Festival, and we pay tribute to the great composer through a performance of his Concerto Grosso. Each movement of the piece is written for a select section of the orchestra – the woodwinds, brass, and strings – in the composer’s distinctive minimalist style.
Purcell’s Birthday Ode for Queen Mary was composed in 1694 in honor of Queen Mary II of England’s birthday. It is the sixth such birthday ode and was completed shortly before Queen Mary’s death. The piece is set in nine movements and features soprano, counter tenor and bass soloists. This is high Baroque, ceremonial music with a brilliant orchestra and virtuoso singing that radiates pure bliss.
The opening program concludes with the final two choruses from Handel’s masterpiece, the Messiah. If you enjoyed the final Amen chorus from C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat in the 2016 Festival, you will love the extended fugal “Amen” that closes the Messiah, one of the most famous and popular pieces in Western music. These are the first performances of selections from the Messiah by the Bach Festival in 15 years.
The Opening Night concert is followed by a celebratory champagne reception on the Sunset Center Terrace.